I give a lot of presentations to authors and when I mention that they should maintain an email marketing list, I usually hear a lot of grumbles from the audience. It sounds like another obligation and time commitment, and authors often roll their eyes at me. But the fact is that it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, maintaining a mailing list requires very little time and more importantly, it can be one of your best marketing tools.
Permission to Market
When someone gives you their email address, they are giving you permission to market to them. This is powerful stuff that you shouldn’t take lightly. Having mailing list subscribers is like having a golden ticket. These people want to be engaged with you and are inviting you to contact them.
Sending out an email newsletter or other email marketing campaigns puts you in control of the communication with your audience. When you send out a new message, you have the attention of your subscribers—and you remind them about who you are and what you offer. Keeping them engaged over time helps build loyalty and leads to book sales, word-of-mouth marketing, online reviews, and other types of buzz generated as a result.
While social media is great for building your brand, and something I also advocate for authors, the big difference with email is that it puts you in the driver’s seat. You can’t control when someone chooses to view their social media accounts, but most people check email daily and you can greet them in their inbox.
You might have just one book now, but if you plan to write more in the future, or if you have other products or services to sell, then maintaining a mailing list is essential. When you can keep the attention of readers and convert them into loyal fans, they can continue to follow you for years. That means that they will also invest in your future offerings.
Email is a powerful marketing tool, and one that every author can benefit from. Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of this series where I’ll cover how to create an effective email newsletter.